To the editor:

In Thursday’s Columbus Telegram, the Associated Press reported that Nebraska State Education officials have decided to lower test score standards so that more teachers could qualify to teach.

According to the education officials quoted in the disturbing article, individual reading, writing, and arithmetic standards are too high and a switch to a watered-down composite scoring system is necessary to solve that problem. Remarkably, State School Board member Rachel Wise claims the change “won’t reduce teacher quality.”

What’s going on here and why the Orwellian doublespeak? Has our education system been completely overrun by social justice nitwits? Even nitwits know that lowering teacher standards will eventually reduce the quality of education?

While there are several potential motives for this move to advance ignorance, the most probable are likely found by answering the question, “Who benefits?” At the top of the answers list we might find powerful teachers’ unions whose membership rosters will benefit. Followed next by Nebraska’s influential teaching colleges and universities which would dearly love the increased tuition from previously underqualified students. Last, but not necessarily least, we might find local school boards which, despite being desperately short of money, desire to postpone having to ask overburdened property owners for more.

Regardless of how Nebraska’s education officials spin it, one thing is certain, lowering the standards for public school teachers will only accelerate the decline of public education and efforts by parents to find alternatives. Nebraska should instead maintain high standards for its public school teachers and attract the teachers it needs with adequate pay.

John Curry

Columbus

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